Interviewer: Jim Laming, writer and broadcaster

Interview with Jim Laming, Interviewer

Q: What is your best piece of advice for people as they start their career?

A: You have got to have your own ideas. Your ideas are your things that set you apart as an individual from everybody else. If you’re on a corporate ladder that has a lot of other guys on it – people who work together and do the same things – all your ideas are the ideas of somebody else. So you have to start developing your own ideas. Or, you have to have your own place, or go it alone and become your own boss.

Q: What makes people a great coach?

A: When you ask most people who are coaches in sports, they would say communication and leadership skills. But the reason why your coaching style is different is that you have got to develop your own language. I call it a personal native language. It’s how you work with people. I’m not going to buy into the corporate man’s language, which I think is wrong, I think it’s not helpful. Everybody always talks about a format and words and definitions. So if we were saying that, you’d get to a point where they’d just say stop talking.

Q: How do you work with people when you are coaching them in sport?

A: You have to have time for people. What has always occurred to me, and still does, is that the biggest impact, the greatest impact you can have is if you spend quality time with people. So what are your thoughts on work, on relationships, on people’s work? These are the things that make you able to make an impact on people. They’re the basics. I always said I was the Peter Fry of coaching. I didn’t care about getting more money for them. But I cared about having a good working relationship with them. I care about whether my coaching can make them the best at what they’re doing and not me just being there to coach them. So if you have got a good coaching relationship, and you’ve got your ideas and your leadership – and not just the money part – then people want to learn from that, and they want to better themselves.

Q: Why is it important for people to develop their own ideas?

A: Most people, if you’ve got somebody that is very interested in the corporate world, it’s a bit daunting and they’re a bit intimidated. Because what would happen is you would look at someone who is an expert in their field, and the idea of having their input is important. But that person will move across the corporation and everyone will think that they’re the best in the world. But they’ll never be. So a lot of times I have to look at people who are not in the high-brow atmosphere and listen to their own ideas and try to adapt them.

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